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Mr. Sanchez 8, California 6, Us 5, Mr. Williams 4, Mr. Chan 4, The City 3, Allfred Chan 2, San Francisco 2, Minnesota 1, City 1, Irvine 1, Tores 1, Inc 1, Adv 1, Licensee 1, Irs 1, Dba 1, Oakland 1, Boston 1, Aaron 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    February 27, 2013
    8:30 - 9:00pm PST  

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1600, and there are a couple of storefronts and it is just one of the storefronts that is in question and the changing of the use to vocal point. and while it seems that most of the attention to this property came about because of the conditional use application that they have on file for a wireless facility, what is going on here and the activity is not related to the wireless facility that they have an application in for but in relation for the change of use for this business and professional service use. the definition, well back up a little bit. so the terevel cd which was created last year does tend to add a little bit of confusion. the business and professional businesses listed adds the principally permitted use. however when you look at the street frontage controls it cross-references section 145.4 which is 145.4 c, which lists
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the active commercial uses and it says that if it is not on that list, then it needs a conditional use authorization and then the planning commission heard this legislation in june of last year and it was very clear to them what the supervisor's intent was on this legislation and so i have highlighted on the overhead is a passage that all of the ncds and several and i think that there were four neighborhood districts created in the sunset. that used to be nc one and two, zoning districts that were created and named with the commercial districts and so this was a terrible cd and these are all ncd and any ground for a commercial use that was not active as defined as 145.4 would require a conditional use authorization and a business and professional service use is not one of these as defined as active and 135.4, but i think that it is clear here what the requirements are that a conditional use authorization is required. the permit holder is correct in
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that we did suggest some recommended changes to the legislation, but we thought it would make it a bit easier to use, and we suggested that they actually amend the use table itself to make those conditional uses rather than cross-reference the active commercial uses and without that being a correct approach that would make the code easier to understand and that is something that aaron star bar rec menlded and they took it and forwarded it to the board and chose not for make the changes but the code ised code and the conditional use is required. the appellant or the permit holder is arguing that this is a financial service use, under section 790.110, the financial service use is defined as a retail use that provides banking products to the public bank, savings and loans and credit unions when occupying more than 15 feet of frontage.
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and i, understand the permit holders point that it does say such as. however, it does say any applicant for a financial service use shall provide the planning department with a true copy of the license issued to it by the state of california. now the state of california does have a licensing program, there is a state of california, department of financial institutions which licenses financial institutions. i looked on their website and did you have a list of licensees vocal point is not among any of the listed and they have different categories. developal corporations, credit unions, premium finance companies, trust companies and trust departments, so there is a wide variety of financial service uses. and they do not fit in one of these categories. i can tell that they did not have a license from the state of california to operate as a financial institution. therefore, they are not a financial service use under the planning code. but i believe that they are
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correctly a business and professional service use which would require a conditional use authorization. and given in the lateness of the hour and i don't think that i will drone on for 22 more minutes i will be available for any questions that the board may have but respectfully request that the board up hold the appeal and deny the permits and require them to come in for the proper conditional use authorization. >> will you look at the back of the issue permit and tell me what it says around the portions for city planning? >> your planners are not doctors are they? >> they are trained as such. no. it appears as if it was written na and so i don't know if that was done by building department staff, but they felt that it was not a change of use, because it is not representing a change of use but it is represented as a tenant
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improvement and one conference room and upgrade the existing bath to ada and there is no change of use proposed. but there would not be a change of use under the building code. but there is a change of use in this case under the planning code and it should have been routed to us and it should have been clear what the proposed use would be. >> you are saying that it was never routed to you at all. >> it does not appear to. it has. >> commissioners, i will just keep it brief.
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we did get a complaint on december the 5th that there was work without a permit. i checked the complaint status today. it just is still references that the case was received and the inspectors did not give a work without a permit of violation whether he didn't get in or had a discussion. it seems like the permit was applied for on the fourth of december and then obtained on the 6th of december and sustaineded on the tenth of december. and so there was a tight time line of events. but to say there was no stop work order issued. regarding the use, and i see the routing did not, it does not show that it got routed to the planning department on the issue ans on the permit details report. the building department, i think that it came in as an existing office and proposed office it would not have shown us to route it to planning in that regard. and it did not say change of use and it is not a change of use for a building code, but as
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you heard mr. sanchez, planning are interested. >> so from your staff? >> i didn't see it, if i could get a look at it, let me see. >> okay. >> it is hard to tell. there is no... it is like n/a and an initial but not an initial, it is hard to cell. >> it looks like a cl. >> we have seen that before, it should be a little clear are to be honest with you it is better. but it is no on the writing that it went to planning at all. >> yeah, probably is someone from building. there is nothing in our... when you come in for a permit you have existing office and proposed office and tenant
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improvement that does the trigger planning department from a building department point of view, you know? if someone went the same day they applied. >> office for office it does not figure for us >> there have been allocations of commencing work on the permit before the permit was issued in the photographs were shown to us. i mean, i don't know if those were authentic. but from based on what we saw it did appear that a significant amount of work was done in would be short time period. >> right. we have had this before in jobs, you snow, they start the demo and they can do it quickly. we didn't get in there to see that. it could have been the case but i don't know that the expecter got in, if we got in there and there is an complaint we will notice a violation. it is hard to tell and indeed there may have been and some
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people are good at seeing that and they could paper up the window and stuff like that. but we did not get in to see that as far as i am aware. i think that i don't have anything else to add to that. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> is there any public comment? >> okay. seeing none, then we will move into rebuttal starting with mr. williams. thank you, i will not need 12 minutes. you heard from the owner that the previous two uses were health food store and then educational services. so regardless of what they are calling this, is obviously a change of use. the vocal point financial network, i have not seen any of the documents still have not seen any of the documents. i saw them give them to mr. sanchez as soon as he arrived
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and that was hours ago. they have no website presence, and it popped up a different company in irvine and in minnesota whether this is some sort of a new company, i don't know. obviously, mr. chan does not operate a bank, a savings and loan and a credit union and does not have a license to do so. the photographs taken by the neighbors tell the whole story, there was a lot of work done here and long before they had any permits. we urge you to send this through the conditional use process. >> thank you. >> mr. gladstone? >> well, first of all, financial services are complicated. mr. sanchez, looked under the wrong company. the document that i have here
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is signature invest tores inc document, chan listed below and it says investment advisory services offered through significant tour inc a registered investment advisor. this provides information about allfred chan that supplements the form, adv part 2 a brochure of signature investments inc. so if mr. williams or sanchez had looked under the name of the licensee which is actually signature investments and investors inc. it would have found that there is a registered investment advisory company there who owns it allfred chan. you don't need to have the dba, the business name that is in there that signed the lease is sorry the business, the company that signed the lease is vocal
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point financial network. but within the premises you have to have a registered investment advisor. someone who is qualified to provide financial planning, bank-type of services financing, lending and all of the like. and among other things they can provide insurance services of an asset--based nature not just life insurance. this is the licensee at the site. and i am just going to show you this mr. williams. >> this is the document that you just received today? >> that i received today, we asked him to provide some proof that it is a financial service more than a business profession office and as a result we called the client who sent us this. let me just state on the other
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subject that in my experience, when the back of the building department permit is stamped or written on, and the box that it is written on says planning department, it is the planning department box that it is generally a planner who writes it in there. and the planner had at his or her access, the complete building permit history for the site, it is on-line. and the building permit history for the site i think is looked at by the planner and it could have been looked at and it would make it clear that the existing use is not office, and the fact that the contractor puts the word office in the box called existing use, simply means that the contractors in most part are not as educated as architects and land use attorneys and many of you to know that when you put in a word in the existing use box you should be putting in what the legal use, not the use that
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he or she sees. unfortunately many contractors put in what they see in the existing use of an alteration permit. the fact that they put in office there does not mean that it was legally office. and so, i just wanted to point out that there was no intent to misrepresent on the part of the owner. what he was planning to do, what kind of use he was planning to do, contractor's do this regularly and i am sure that many of you know that who have been on this board for many, many years. and absolutely no intent to misrepresent. >> i just want to step back and look at the big picture. this is a business in the city. it is trying to relocate. and in the relocation is expanding the services from just insurance to financial planning and the like. okay? this owner and this tenant has the right to rely on what the planning code clearly seems to
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say. the problem, one of the big problems in the city, that and there is nothing to do with the zoning administrator who does the best that he can and obviously has to interpret the code as he sees it. but in general, it is very hard for small businesses to open up in a city, to relocate, why? because the codes are not clear. in fact, the planning permit advised the board of supervisors that it is unclear that it cross-references the sections inconist ently to make it sound like it is an active use and when it is people look at the code and they decide, what will it take to make an active use? they look at the provision in the code that says, that you have to have 60 percent of your frontage to be clear windows. and it has that. they look at the code in the definition of financial services. they look at their documents on
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the secretary of state, irs and all of their licensing. and they see their financial service. i supply ask you to look at this in a broad way and look at what is equitable and fair. and look at what can really expect a tenant and the land use attorneys at their side as expensive as we are to be thinking this is confusing the board of supervisors did not follow the advice to make it clearer. the zoning administrator years ago, wrote an interpretation, making it clear and you have it in front of you that the board of supervisors has decided that the list of what things are financial services is not an exclusive list. but it says such as banks that it means including but not limited to banks. simply ask that you look at the big picture, the expectations of the client, and the planning department says that it made a mistake and i am glad that it
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admits that. but, here we go, we have an empty storefront and it has been subject to vandalism and we have a small business that is trying to relocate and stay in the city at an affordable rate. thank you. >> mr. gladstone. >> we also have been told to not look at intent of legislation, but to follow the legislation exactly. but any way, quet that quet... the question that i have for you any way vocal point financial network is registered with a business license in san francisco? >> i didn't inquire as to whether they have paid their business license fee, i don't know. >> are they registered? >> i don't know. >> and what name are they there? >> good question, i did not inquire. i don't know. >> they seem to make all of the
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filings with the irs and the ftd and the edd and so it would not surprise me that they make their filings, what is it a 200 fee that you pay to get a business license in san francisco, we don't know. >> okay. >> when the zoning administrator was... were you finished? i am sorry. >> no i did have another question, but i can't remember. you go ahead. >> i am sorry. when the zoning administrator was testifying regarding the way in which he made a determination that the vocal investment services network, i am sorry if i got the name wrong was not found on the california, not found as a licensee, are you saying that the name of this ssignature? >> signature, if you looked
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under that and he would not know to look around that. >> but if he had, he would find that it is a licensed financial advisor and that the person allfred chan is connected to it. >> in what way? >> in that he owns at least a portion if not all. i am not sure. >> is mr. chan's name connected with what is on the california licensing board? >> yeah, let me read it to you. this is the document which came from... what document this? >> this is the signature investors brochure ha it gives out to the agencies. it says under the compensation, as a registered representative of si i, which is signature, allfred chan may also receive brokerage commissions from the transactions recommended to
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clients. if a client asks, alfred chan to execute a transaction is will be executed through sii as a broker deal and her a commission may be paid toal fred chan. >> how is that connected to vocal? through alfred? >> yes, he is the owner of vocal financial network signs a lease. there may be a sublease, i don't know between vocal financial network and mr. chan, but it seems like there doesn't need to be, a person can operate under a certain license and a licensee name and that does not have to be the name of the tenant under the lease. the landlord that i have been on asks that the tenants under
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the lease. the existing llcs that have assets and have a business history that has credit and it would not be surprised if mr. weston asked that, and i personally as a landlord and i am subleasing would rather have a company than a individual or the name of some investment service. >> let me jump in for a moment. >> i am just seeing some what speculative at this point. ... >> i don't think that mr. sanchez is questioning whether or not the documents are real. >> that is not about that. >> if i may just jump in. the question that i was going to ask was whether the signature on a lease which
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specified a certain company and therefore a certain use, has the requirement from the code satisfied by who the licensee is can provide certain financial services. i am not sure that is exactly the case. but what it led me to want to say also is none of this stuff as you brought up was in the brief. >> right. >> and i think that you know, if you wanted a decision tonight, we can give you a decision. but i think that you need to continue and rebrief this. >> i think that you are right. and i think that i would be happy to do that. and it also gives mr. williams more time and mr. sanchez to review the documents that i presented tonight and allows mr. chan to be here and fill in some of the gaps and i would appreciate if you would consider that because this is important. it is a small business and trying to relocate and wants to stay in the city.
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i hope that you would give it a chance and happy to rebrief it through a continuance. >> why wasn't it brought up in the first instance in this is the key issue. >> with all due respect, until mr. sanchez communicated to me either yesterday or today, that he felt that the issue was one of there being a conditional use requirement, because the use does not fall into the list of uses that are by definition active, i was only drafting a brief to respond to mr. williams and his client's concerns. and my brief was addressed fully to that. mr. williams did not bring up the issue, mr. sanchez did not bring up the issue of the fact that in his brief he brought it up tonight to you. to you only. you only, and so, i would be
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happy to brief it. >> we have to i am sorry, go ahead. >> no, go ahead, go ahead. >> i don't have a particular problem with that. because i think that there is lack of clarity. we have had a lot of different dba and whatever thrown out and if somebody can go and substan ate a change of ownership or who is the signatoree and what list of services that are going to be provided i hope that clarifies because i think that the issue does resolve around that. >> so commissioners, we should finish with rebuttal and unless there are other questions for counsel. >> mr. sanchez. >> we were not finished? >> no. >> sorry. >> thank you. >> scott sanchez. planning department, just to respond to the couple of the points that were raised by the
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permit holder, first application was not routed to planning i saw that there was no routing stop for plan and so the na was from the building department staff and not routed to planning even ifed down it would have been an issue. why i was doing that i did come across dbi's website. they have the contact information for the building permit and this is something that the permit holder submits and on there they put the designer name, they put the contractor and also the leasee, and the vocal point insurance agency as the contact for the permit application and what was submitted under evidence that this is a financial use for signature vest tores, i did look for vig signature invest or and nothing came up with
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permits and i all looked for chan and nothing came up, with the department of real estate permits or licenses but nothing for financial services. the materials that they handed out if i could have the overhead says that the signature investors inc in oakland, with the business address in boston. and it talks about investment advisory services this is not financial services as defined under the planning code. what they were referring to from the interpretation from the mid 90s and referring to somehow the board of supervisors over turning a zoning administrator interpretation, the board of supervisors does not do that. they don't have the authority do that. the board of appeals hears the appeals of the zoning administrator determinations. if they disagree with a administration they can change the planning code nthis case it was an appeal of cu and disagreed and thought that the
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zoning administrator and they applied and didn't think that it was appropriate to be considered as a business or a professional service, in that case, it was an... a brokerage, a commodity, broker which is not what they are doing here so the cases are not come parable. the zone administrator found that it was a business and a professional service and they had included that to bolster that this is a business or a professional service which i agree with. i think that this is a business and a professional service use. again, you know, i am sure that if the board feels that a continuance would be helpful to more fully brief the matter, you know i think that we have tried to pretty exhaustively review the materials tonight and apologize for not having this to the board earlier. it was after i red the permit holder brief that i realized the extend of the permit. we did receive a complaint on
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february 8th as well specifically with the allegation that this was not an active commercial use. i can say that our department has spoken with the supervisor's office and it was their understanding as well that the business and professional uses would not be allowed without a conditional use. i think that it is clear from what the planning commission heard last june and you snow, while the board did not take our recommendations in making it clear in the code and making it easier for the staff to understand. we said that this recommendation would not change the intent of the legislation or the effect of the legislation, so they still require a conditional use authorization for business and professional service use, they have not provided evidence that they are a financial service use. nothing close. i mean the names could keep changing but nothing has been able to evidence that. the name on the lease is vocal point. i mean they could call
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themselves a financial advisor but they don't meet the definition of financial use and request that the board deny the permit so that they can pursue the conditional use authorization. thank you. >> thank you. >> anything further? >> okay. commissioners, now the matter is submitted. >> well commissioners, i think that we would like the record to be as clear as possible. which is why i would suggest a continuance, whether they can prove it or not. so that is the record is quite clear. and i think that there is many of us who would seriously support a small business in our city. i think that there are certain things that could be done to help them. there are agencies that provide both technical and regulatory support